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  LEGENDS OF KRAKOW



   Pigeons of Krakow

   In 13th century Poland was divided into small lands, governed by semi-independent dukes. One day Hendry Probus wanted to unify Poland, but to do it, he had to get crowned. In middle ages only the pope could give permission for the crone, so Henry decided to pay a visit in the Holy See. But Henry was too poor, so decided to ask for money the witch living close to his castle in Wawel. The witch agreed but she wished Henry to bring his knights for the period of his travel. The duke Henry agreed, brought the knights and the witch change the soldiers into pigeons. The pigeons flew on the Our Lady Church and pecked the bricks. When the bricks were falling down, immidiately changed into gold. Henry collected the gold and went to Rome. Unfortunately, he, this party loving duke lost everything, came back to Krakow, asked the witch for more but she neglected. This is the reason why there is so many pigeons in Krakow.

  Dragon of Krakow

  Once upon a time lived in Krakow the duke Krak. The duke was a very good ruler but he had one big problem – in a cave below his castle huge dragon lived. The dragon ate cows, ships, horses and other animals, what is more, sometimes eat also the people. The duke decided to kill the monster. Invited the strongest man, brave knights to his castle and promised to give a half of his kingdom and daughter to the one who kill the dragon. Unfortunately nobody could defeat the beast, some knights died, some escape seeing the dragon.
  One day one shoemaker Skuba visited the duke Krak and promised to kill the beast. Krak did not believed, this boy could defeate the dragon but agreed. Skuba killed a sheep, put sulfur inside, saw the skin and gave it to the dragon. The dragon ate the sheep and suddenly felt fire in its stomach, went to the river, and drunk, drunk, drunk, was becoming bigger and bigger, and suddenly explode. Krakow was saved and the shoemaker Skuba became successor of the duke Krak.

  About Hejnal of Krakow

  This story took place in 1241 when the Tartars invaders attacked Krakow. One day a boy stood in the higher tower of the Our Lady Church, practicing playing the trumpet. Suddenly he noticed huge group of Tartar enemies approaching the city. In this moment he run down the tower to the Market Square to inform the people, but soon realized that it would be in vain. Instead he started playing a song from the tower. The townspeople listened the song, realized the danger and closed the city gates. Unfortunately one Tartar killed the trumpeter. This is the reason why the song stops not finished. Krakow became safe.

  Synagogue of Isaac Jakubowicz

  Isaac Jakubowicz was known in the society as a strange person. One day he told his wife that he had a dream. In the dream the prophet Elias informed him that in Prague under the Karol bridge there is a big treasure. So Isaac went to Prague, to take the treasure but so many people was going around. He decided to ask one guardian to take the people out for some moment, just to dig the treasure. But when Isaac asked, the guardian answered that he had similar dream that in a house of one Jew, under the oven there is a lot of gold, but he does not believe in dreams and is not going to Krakow. In this moment Isaac came back to Krakow and destroyed the oven in his house. Under the oven he found a big treasure. Thanks to God he build a large synagogue, called today Isaac Synagogue.

  Grave of Lipmann Heller

  One day lived in Krakow a Jew, called Scorch because nobody saw him giving money to the poorest, as the Torah says. So, when the Scorch died, he was buried far from the synagogue in the corner where sinners lie. Soon, next Shabbat came, but this time no one who used to get some money, got it. Everybody understood that the Scorch was the donator, but he used to do it in such way that nobody saw. When the Rabbi Lipmann Heller got to know about the man, he wished to lie close to the Scorch. Indeed, today he is buried in adjacent grave close to the cemetery wall.

  Saint Stanislaw (by Wincenty Kadlubek)

  In 1079 the king Boleslaw waged war with Kiev. He took his knights and left women alone, only with children, old men and those who could not fight. When the men fight in Kiev, the women betrayed their husbands, so when the soldiers came back and noticed what happened, punished the women in various ways. But the punishment given by the king Boleslaw was the most horrible – he forced the women to feet dogs with the women’s breasts.
  In this moment the bishop Stanislaw took women’ side, and in public, in the church of Skalka, was saying against the king. The king was very violent, he came from his castle in Wawel and killed the bishop. Moreover, he cut into pieces his body and left in the pool next to the church. In this moment raven came trying to eat the body, but hopefully also eagles came and were flying as long, as believers came, hold the body of the bishop Stanislaw, and in this moment the body grew together.
That was the prophecy, soon Poland was divided into semi-independent duchies, but exactly like the body of Saint Stanislaw grew together, the duchies will reunite and became one strong country.
  Today Saint Stanislaw is the patron-saint of Poland, Krakow and the Wawel Cathedral.

  Saint Florian

  This story took place in 1184 when the duke Casimir the Just wished to have some relics in Krakow. Therefore, he send his bishop Gedeon to Rome to ask for some relics. The bishop Gedeon left for Vatican and together with the pope Lucius III walked in catacombs trying to find proper saint. First, they found saint Steven but when they opened his coffin, he lied on the belly showing his back. So, they opened saint Lawrence, but Lawrence was not happy. Finally they opened the coffin of saint Florian. Saint Florian was smiling – yes, he will come to Krakow.
  The bishop Gedeon left Rome and when he was just crossing the city walls, the horses stopped and didn’t moved until the duke Casimir came and promised to build Saint Florian church in this place. Then, the horses moved and relics on saint Florian were deposit in the Wawel Cathedral.
  The church of saint Florian, ideed, erected in 12th century, stays until today. After destroying by Swedish it was rebuilt in baroque style. Today it’s a parish for the Kleparz district.


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